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Those learning the history of Katanas will invariably hear the name Masamune, and then likely as not they will hear of Muramasa compared to him, with the legend of the latter as a madman who made cursed bloodthirsty blades.

Well, one might say all blades are bloodthirsty, because that's the point of making them. As it is, Muramasa's work was highly regarded during the final decades of the Sengoku period, and even well into the Edo period. Legend has it that they fell out of favor because two of the people in Tokugawa Ieyasu's clan were killed by them, one deliberately and one by accident, whereupon supposedly Ieyasu banned the ownership of all Muramasas and melted down those he could find --

And yet, the man is said to have owned two Muramasa blades and left them to his family as an heirloom, one of which survives. Was he being a hypocrite? No. Muramasa blades were the most popular katana among the samurai of Tokugawa's home province

A "Hnickar" is a water "spirit" (or monster, or demon, or creature). The word is Anglo-Saxon and is cognate with a ton of similar terms in Scandanavian and European languages. Water lilies are nøkkeroser (Hnickar roses), in Danish, for example. They appear throughout European and world culture. Folkore and traditional culture is often mysterious and defies categories, which is part of its charm, but I'll set down a few characteristics which crop up often.


"Merry Andrew: MERRYMAN. The jack pudding, jester, or zany of a mountebank, usually dressed in a party-coloured coat.
--1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, by Francis Grose.

A Merry Andrew is a somewhat mysterious type of clown. The Merry Andrew was a fixture of the Bartholomew Fair for centuries, presumably being the 17th century equivalent of a stand-up comedian.

"August 29. Met my wife in a

News for Noders

November 1: The IRON NODER CHALLENGE starts today and runs through December 1. It's never too late to sign up, and all writeups get rewards. /msg mauler if you'd like to participate!

November 1: Happy Birthday Zephronias!

November 5: Bonfire Night in the UK.

November 11: Veterans Day in the US.

November 27: Happy Birthday Estelore!

November 26: Thanksgiving in the US.

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October 1: Please join us in celebrating Send More Paramedics: The 2020 Halloween Horrorquest.

October 17: Happy Birthday gnarl!

October 31: Something spooky will probably happen today. It usually does.

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September 7: С днём рождения, Stasik!

September 16: Feliz cumpleaños Ancientsnow!

September 18: Happy birthday Stuart!

September 25: Happy birthday Templeton!

September 26: Stanislav Petrov Day.

September 27: Happy birthday Uberbanana!

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August 4: Happy birthday avalyn!

August 6: 広島

August 9: 長崎

August 27: Happy birthday Bitriot!

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July 1: Brevity Quest 2020 begins!

July 1: Canada Day.

July 4: America Day.

July 31: Brevity Quest 2020 ends.

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